How to Start Windows in Safe Mode

Windows “Safe Mode” is a special diagnostic mode, in which Windows load only the minimum drivers and services. If you enter into Safe Mode, then your operating system starts in limited functionality and without the unnecessary features. Safe mode is used to help users to troubleshoot several problems on their computer, like corrupted software (or driver) installation or to remove viruses or uninstall malicious software that prevent their computer from booting normally.

In this article you will find the way to enter into Windows Safe Mode to troubleshoot your computer.

How to start Windows 7, Vista & XP in Safe Mode

To boot Windows Windows 7, Vista & XP in Safe Mode:

  1. Close all programs and reboot your computer.
  2. Press the "F8" key as your computer is booting up, before the appearance of the Windows logo.
  3. When the "Windows Advanced Options Menu" appears on your screen, use your keyboard arrows keys to highlight the “Safe Mode” option and then press "ENTER".

Alternate method if the  “F8” key method doesn’t work:

  1. Press the “Power ON/OFF” button at least (5) seconds when Windows load to power-off (turn-off) your computer.
  2. Then press the “Power ON/OFF” button again to power-on (turn-on) your computer.
  3. Normally you will be informed that Windows failed to start. At this point:
    • Windows XP: It should enter you at “Advanced Options Menu” automatically.
    • Windows 7 or Vista: If Windows don’t  enter you at “Advanced Options Menu” automatically, then choose the “Start Windows Normally” option > press “Enter” > and immediately press the “F8” key to enter “Advanced Options”.
  • (This method also works for Windows 2003 & 2008 Server editions)

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How to start Windows 8 & 8.1 in Safe Mode

To boot Windows Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 in Safe Mode:

  1. Press “Windowsimage_thumb[5]_thumb_thumb  + “R” keys to load the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “msconfig” and press Enter.
  3. Click the Boot tab and then check the “Safe Boot” option.
  4. Click “OK” and restart your computer.

Note: In order to boot Windows in “Normal Mode” again, you have to uncheck the “Safe Boot” option by using the same procedure.

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